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Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.
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Chanson de printemps is another wonderful song. The poet Tourneux is scarcely a revered master but Gounod makes of this rather conventional spring lyric an extraordinarily vibrant paean to the new season. It is true that the typical Gounod is not usually as fleet of foot as this (it is this type of excitement which seems so seldom generated in the later songs) but here we have real energy—a quality which the Germans call Schwung in which nothing can stop the momentum of the rising sap. The piano never stops weaving semiquavers for an instant; this provides a cat’s cradle over which the vocal line can soar—and even in a song as fast as this the declamation never sounds hurried; as in all the best Gounod songs sensual languidity is built into the very rise and fall of the vocal line whatever the tempo of the piece. The chromatically rising harmonies underneath the final two lines of each strophe (repeated in each case) are superbly placed to set up the reprise of the introduction to the following verse. And we do not mind hearing the same music all over again. The breadth and span of the vocal line (the harmonies opening up like petals of an exotic flower) make the song a worthy antecedent to such moto perpetuo-accompanied mélodies by Fauré as Nell and La mer est infinie. In 1866 Gounod arranged this song as his fifth Romance sans paroles for piano.
Viens, enfant, la terre s’éveille
Le soleil rit au gazon vert!
La fleur au calice entr’ouvert
Reçoit les baisers de l’abeille.
Respirons cet air pur!
Là-haut sur la colline
La neige de pommiers
Parfume les sentiers.
Viens, enfant, voici l’hirondelle
Qui passe en chantant dans les airs.
Ouvre ton âme aux frais concerts
Éclos sous la feuille nouvelle.
Un vent joyeux, là-bas,
Frémit dans les lilas,
C’est la saison bénie,
C’est l’amour, c’est la vie!
Qu’un fleuve de bonheur
Inonde notre cœur!
Viens, enfant, c’est l’heure charmante
Où l’on voudrait rêver à deux.
Mêlons nos rêves et nos yeux
Sous cette verdure naissante.
Salut, règne des fleurs,
Des parfums, des couleurs!
Les suaves haleines
Voltigent sur les plaines,
Le cœur épanoui
Se perd dans l’infini!
Eugène Tourneux (?-?)
Come, little one, the earth awakens,
The sun smiles on the green grass!
The half-opened flower
Is kissed by the honey bee.
Breathe the pure air!
Let the blue sky intoxicate us!
Come and pick hawthorn!
The fallen apple blossom
Fills the paths with fragrance.
Come, little one, there is the swallow
Passing by, singing in the air.
Open your heart to the spring concert
Blooming in young leaves.
Yonder a joyful wind
Plays among the lilacs;
It is the blessed season,
It is love, it is life!
May a river of happiness
Flow in our heart!
Come, little one, it is the charmed hour
When one wants to dream together.
Let us mingle our dreams and our eyes
Underneath the nascent greenery.
Hail, kingdom of flowers,
Of scents, of colours!
Waft over the meadows;
The radiant heart
Loses itself in infinity!